The highest level(s) of influence this method typically matches with on the IAP2 public participation spectrum is…
To provide the public with balanced and objective information.
To obtain public feedback on analysis, alternatives and/or decisions.
To work directly with the public throughout the process.
To partner with the public in each aspect of the decision.
To place final decision making in the hands of the public.
The name Vox Pop, originates from the Latin term, Vox Populi, or the voice of the people. Today, the method aims to capture the voice of the people and how they feel about a certain topic by intercepting them in public, such as the main street or local park, or after an online workshop. A package of vox pop interviews clips can be compiled and provided as an additional data set as part of the engagement program.
What you'll need
- Video conferencing software with record function
- Interviewer and interview scripts/questions
- Consent forms
- Often this method is included as part of another method, e.g online workshop
- Interviewers and interview scripts/questions
- Video and camera equipment
- Fact Sheets about project
- Consent forms
- Business cards, name badges to prove who you are
How to guide
There are a variety of different ways to conduct vox pops interviews from organisation-led through to participant-led approaches. The style is very informal and natural (no professional touch-ups, edits etc) and will showcase the diverse range of voices of the community.
On the street style interviews
Organisations can send staff and video equipment/phone cameras to interview and film people on the street talking their responses to a particular topic. Choosing a location that is related to the topic is ideal and will help people relate to the questions. For example, in a park masterplan project, setting up your crews in the local park and interviewing people within the park about their likes, dislikes and ideas for improvements is ideal.
These interviews are typically short in nature and voluntary to opt in to. The organisation must have identification (uniform or name badges) as well as consent forms to video people (to let them know where and how their video will be used).
Mobile video diaries
A variation on this approach can be to ask community members to centrally upload their own short voice diary or video diary (e.g. 30 seconds to 1 min) which captures their response to a particular topic. This method might suit some members of the public more than filling in a survey or writing a submission.
Vox Pop style form post-session interviews can be a great way to capture a range of participant responses (such as after a workshop or citizens’ jury etc). Filming a number of participants to talk about their experience of the engagement event can be useful to show the broader public and decision-makers what happened in the session.